Music Technology major Holland Sersen’s first semester as President of the Columbia College Chicago DJ Club, a student organization on-campus, has seen him engage student members by creating a safe and welcoming environment for those who have an interest in the art of learning about DJ’ing. With weekly meetings, hands-on experience on equipment, and several initiatives, he has made the club one of the most popular destinations for students seeking engagement with each other.
Holland, who attended Cary Grove High School in Cary, Illinois, first became aware of the DJ Club as a student worker during the fall 2021 semester in the Audio Arts and Acoustics Department. As someone who is immersed in technology, his eyes lit up when he saw that there was plenty of gear available for students to use. “Once I finally got in the room and saw the equipment, I would come in every time I could to practice.”
With student involvement increasing on a weekly basis, Holland has leaned on a few resources that have helped him take the club to another level. One of his initial goals as President was to make use of the Student Center Space on the second floor of the 754 S. Wabash building. To accomplish this, on a bi-weekly basis he has worked closely with the Career Center staff to secure use of their DJ equipment. Also, he connected with Career Center Creative Liaison Darlene Jackson, aka DJ Lady D, who has assisted by holding a workshop for members. Holland also has offered to have members DJ for in-person events in the future at that location.
Another strong supporter of the club is faculty advisor and WCRX FM Station Manager Matt Cunningham. As Holland relates, “To be quite honest he has been amazing to work with! I feel like we share a really similar vision as to what we think this club could become. I don’t think we would be where we are right now without him.”
One of the appealing factors of being involved with the club is that you don’t have to have any experience to join. “The DJ Club is just a group of people who like listening to and performing music. Many of the club members don’t even DJ. A lot of them just come out as a way to talk to people, and I completely understand that! We have a good mix of casual and hardcore members so everyone can have a place in the club.”
As the club continues to grow and gain new members along the way, Holland has several plans that he can see coming to fruition for the organization. “I want the club to be more involved in the college, specifically the Audio Department. I also think it would be really cool if the DJ Club was in charge of hosting/helping out with some of the college’s events. We also will continue to be involved with Manifest, Columbia's annual senior showcase, which will be very exciting for members of the club!”